The OV-chipkaart is your daily companion when using public transportation in Amsterdam. It is available in different forms. For most tourists the disposable form will be fine. There is also an anonymous plastic card and a named plastic card. When you plan to travel frequently to Amsterdam or the netherlands it might be worth to get an anonymous plastic card. When you plan for a longer stay you should apply for a named card.
You can buy the disposable card with a package at the counters or the ticket vending machines. When you buy a ticket from Amsterdam Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal at the counter you will receive a disposable OV-chipkaart with a package that covers the way from Schiphol to Centraal. After the trip the card is worthless. You can’t recharge the card or reuse it.
When you go with the anonymous plastic card you have to request it at the counter. The recomendet retail price is €7.50. In addition to that you will need to precharge a package or a deposit. When traveling on deposit you will be charged for the actual distance you traveled. The deposit is valid for all forms of public transportation, packages are restricted to providers. It is important to know that the different forms of transportation in the netherlands are operated by different providers. In Amsterdam you will encounter a few providers. The trains are operated by NS, the tram and metro are operated by GVB and most busses are operated by Connexxion. When your deposit is spent you can reload the deposit in different locations. Look out for small yellow boxes standing around in supermarkets. The ticket machines at the airport can also be used to charge your OV-chipkaart.
To apply for a named card you have to be in the netherlands or live in one of the selected countrys you can look up on the OV-chipkaart site. You can buy an application package for €10.50 at RET, Arriva and Connexxion counters.
Public Transportation in Amsterdam
When using Public Transportation in Amsterdam you have to remember to check in and out. When using one of the public transports that are not operated by NS you are charged €4.00 on check in. When you check out the actual fare is calculated and the difference is either rewarded back to your balance or your balance gets reduced. So checking out on the terminal is very important.
Plan your trips
To plan your trips in advance and not wait at the station forever you can use 9292. 9292 provides simple lookup of departure and arraival time and it provides you where you have to change transportation. Furthermore it calculate the fare that is charged for the different ways you going to travel.